all right folks here's another frequently asked question that deserves its own video how do I get into Hema historical European martial arts if I don't have access to a club or school no I covered this a couple of times and livestreams and I made a video about it a few years ago but it should definitely get an update and this also applies to other martial arts or historical martial arts at least if you want to learn a modern martial art or one with a living tradition it's probably better to join a school and it's more likely that you have one available but historical martial arts are even though they are spreading they're still not as popular as other martial arts and it may be hard to find something so step one is double-check if there really is nothing in your area I want to post some links down below one of them is the Hema Club finder so you can look up if there is any Hema school or a club in your area to Google search etc there might be something where you are but let's assume there is nothing there's absolutely nothing you know closest thing is like three-hour drive or further or anything that's just not practically feasible what do you do then well you can absolutely start a a club or school on your own and learn it I mean this is how Hema has started you know in the beginning there were no instructors because nobody has done it because if there was you know the the tradition was interrupted Medieval and Renaissance swordsmanship as such simply wasn't taught anymore after a certain time there were other things like Sabre fencing and foil and épée fencing which is not the same as Renaissance rapier fencing but so what do you do if you want to learn these things now there are plenty of resources there are the original historical manuals from the times you can look those up on wiki on our for example again link below there is quite a collection of sources where you have pictures if available and the original text and the English translation so you can get a lot of material there for free many of the historical manuals are also available in print book format some with mana and commentary some without there are plenty of books written by Hema practitioners and instructors now in the beginning when you're just getting into it it's difficult of course to judge which interpretations are good and which are less so but you just have to be as skeptical as you can and look up reviews and so I'll post some recommendations down below of books that I read that I found well researched and useful and also material from instructors who I know are competent and can fight well all that and yeah so once you get into it and to the practical aspect of it there are certain things that you absolutely should do one of the major things is get one of these a proper fencing mask ideally the ones designed for Hema I mean they don't have to be designed for him uh necessarily but it's gotta be the three weapon rated mesh you know four of EPIK oil and saber because there are also ones that are just rated for foil and épée or whatever which I just have a weaker mesh and they didn't easily definitely get this kind of additional protection the padding on top is very helpful it also protects the back of the head because this is one of the weaknesses of standard fencing masks they don't have anything there it just have this flap here and the back of the Hat is covered in the back of the head is very very vulnerable you can get seriously injured if you get hit on the head and I'll talk a bit more about that later some people use things like hockey helmets and it's not it's not quite ideal the problem is if you have just some bars in front of your face a blade may slip through so if you do thrusts at all that can be extremely dangerous you could improvise that if you absolutely don't have anything else available and cannot afford it you could get away with things like a motorcycle helmet it's gotta be a little more cumbersome and awkward but you could or you know riot gear helmet anything with a clear visor stuff like that you may be able to get away with but the best thing is definitely Hema mask I'm also going to link to some sources where you can get property mugear down below so absolutely do not practice without especially in the beginning like if you just do very careful meticulous technique drill ting okay that's that's fine for the most part but as soon as you speed up even just a little bit put protection on you can easily lose an eye get seriously injured or loosened teeth you don't want that obviously so get one of those that's the most important thing a gorge Rea would also be very important especially if you do of sparring even if it's just light sparring because if you get a thrust in the throat that can be life-threatening so definitely a gorgeous um sword would be important most important definitely a mask like if you can't afford nothing else get a mask and if you can't afford nothing else in general if you're on a budget this is a bit difficult its Hema is kind of an expensive hobby or can get expensive pretty quickly but yeah mask if you have nothing else a wooden sword can be okay but I would personally highly recommend to go with a a synthetic practice or over that in nylon blade and so the problem with wood is it's not as durable so even if it's cheaper to get one at first it'll probably break eventually and you have to buy another one anyway and two wooden swords are probably the same as a a nylon practice or or three at least plus they are more dangerous because a wooden blade is rigid you can't really do save thrusts it doesn't have the same kind of weight the synthetic trainers can have the same weight as steel swords or at least clothes for synthetic blades I would recommend either Purple Heart Armory or black fencer they both have their pros and con I think the the blades that Purpleheart makes are a little better and but the hilts that black fencer makes what better so they have third-person columns but they're both absolutely usable and reasonably affordable so we definitely suggest getting some of these if you can afford it of course the steel practice sword is a good investment this here is an and suffer long sword these are among the best Virginia is also a good choice and again I'm just gonna post a few links down below of recommendations so yeah that's as far as equipment is concerned hand protection of course also is very important I made a video about that reviewing a few lives slash gauntlets that'll be down below as well so if you want to do sparring especially intense full-contact sparring aside from head and throat protection most important is joint protection you definitely want elbow guards knee guards because if you take a sword to the side of the patella then it's it's over for quite a while or if you get if you get struck on tendons and ligaments you're screwed for a long time possibly for the rest of your life because stuff like that never heals properly and you you know safety first health first I will harp on this for quite a bit and several times in this video other than then that you know if getting a jacket is also a good idea or a cop do not save on money for a cop if you want to do sparring otherwise this is going to happen oh you don't want that protect your jock and if you're a female practitioner you may also want to get a chest guard because apparently there's some research showing that repeated bruising of the breast tissue can increase the risk of breast cancer so yeah protect the vulnerable squishy parts that's pretty dot what Jacket is also good idea if we want to do sparring you might be able to get away with something like this this is motorcycle gear this is pretty affordable stuff from gearbest and on planning to make a video about that at some point so it's got hard plates this also have shoulder and elbow protection and protection for the spine that's definitely a good idea you may need some more padding underneath but something like this could work a lot of people also use hockey gear for protection especially here in Canada just got to remember to lubricate it with maple syrup and that can work but stuff like the hockey gloves aren't ideal because they don't give you the same kind of mobility flexibility is better in lacrosse gloves so lacrosse gloves are a good idea but I talked about them in another video so enough about equipment let's talk about how to do it so first up this is a mistake that a lot of people make I did that myself before I joined a team uh school don't do too much sparring Mike don't start out with just sparring I know that's that can be the most fun part and that's what you want to do but don't don't do just that you you won't learn much doing that now you have to learn the technique first and then you can try to apply it in sparring and then you can see does this work in real life so to speak against a fully resistant component it is important absolutely do sparring in fact I would say if you don't do sparring at all you're doing it wrong I mean if you don't do it because you can't afford all the protective gear you need for it to be safe that's a different story but if you deliberately choose not to do sparring because all we don't need it no you're not doing it properly because then you won't find out if this actually works and if your interpretation of the technique is viable because you can you can make all kinds of weird things seem like they work against a compliant partner but if you put it to the test and it'll fall apart so it is definitely important to do that but the first step is read the manuals we're gonna watch videos etc all of that kind of thing to try to understand the technique maybe you know compare different interpretations and practice those techniques first with a partner you know nice and slow and controlled and pay attention to the the little details of footwork and posture and you know see how it works then and practice that quite a bit before you test it in sparring because if you if you like try an interpretation of a technique for half an hour and then you use an inspiring it's like oh this doesn't work that doesn't mean that the interpretation is bad it just means that you haven't practiced it enough like if you can't do it well then it doesn't matter how good the technique is you're not going to be successful with it so keeping that in mind so it's a lot of practice a lot of drills the correct model here is not practice makes perfect but practice makes permanent this is also why I'm saying don't just jump into sparring and do nothing else because you'll develop a lot of bad habits and if you solidify those habits then it'll take that much more time to unlearn those and learn new better patterns so definitely important you will have to go through that either way because interpretations change if you may as you learn more you may find out that this thing that you used to do is suboptimal and this new thing is better now but you want to try to minimize that now again safety I cannot preach this enough there are certain things that you absolutely have to keep in mind like for example do not strike people hard on the head over and over again it doesn't matter what they're wearing it doesn't matter what kind of helmet or mask or whatever they have do not hit them as hard as you can in the head ever not inspiring either it's dangerous and don't do the macho thing a lot you're just gonna toughen up if you get knocked out you get back up no you will regret that later in life because brain damage is cumulative and irreversible so if you get hit in the head over and over again or if you suffer concussions repeatedly the thing is you cannot toughen up to that you cannot you know just all man up and then just learn to take it your brain will not to take it in fact both studies and empirical evidence from MMA and such have shown that you could more susceptible to getting knocked out now the more concussions you have the lower the threshold becomes for getting a concussion your brain becomes more and more vulnerable to concussion and brain damage and that the brain tissue will stretch over time this is also one of the problems with Hema here there is nothing really that can hundred-percent prevent a concussion even if you have like a very good helmet that prevents a skull fracture if your head is suddenly violently knocked around wrapped around this will stretch the brain tissue and that's what causes the damage that's what causes concussions and all of that apparently more so than the brain bouncing against the skull was far as newer research has shown either way it's not good be mindful of that and in general be careful with your training partners now of course in Sparta you want to fight with intent you don't just want do these these these little taps because they are not emotionally viable but at the same time you need to keep your opponents or your training partners safety in mind you don't want to wreck them you don't want to cause soft tissue damage and all of that there is a certain risk involved but there is risk in all sports so a lot of the historical techniques do involve strikes to the head because it is one of the most incapacitating things you can do in real combat so you will have to hit people in the head absolutely what you know do it reasonably like don't go full buffalo on them and then try to smack them to bits the other warning I'll have to give you is do not do wrestling in sparring if you have not practiced sit intensely and learned it from some kind of qualified instructor this can be really dangerous because the problem is no protective gear can can save you from torn ligaments and and you know dislocated joints and things like that this is how I wrecked my knee and I'm still dealing with that it's it's going to be with me for the rest of my life because a ligament was torn it does not heal on its own surgery only has a 50/50 percent chance of fixing that this is the kind of stuff that you're dealing with if you're reckless you know it all it takes is one misstep and you're done I don't want to scare you away from Hema I know that this may sound like oh no you're going to get hurt and then you're gonna suffer from the rest of it for the rest of your life and don't do this no if you're being responsible if you're doing it properly the risk really isn't very high in fact the risk of playing soccer is higher as far as I see it but you do need to keep these things in mind grappling wrestling can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing so only do it if you have qualified instruction also warm up before practice again this is something that I used to not do before joining an emo school but this is important you don't want to jump into stuff like this if your muscles and tendons etc aren't properly warmed up so you know stuff like jogging push-ups sit-ups you know leg raises what have you there are a number of of warm-up routines that you can do including dynamic stretching dynamic stretching there's the focus here if you do static stretching like where you just hold something for for a while that's that's not a good idea studies have shown that increases your injury risk so dynamic stretching is for example to structure your pecs you would do stuff like this or you know bouncing your shoulders rolling your shoulders things like that there are routines for that and that's important and finally a healthy dose of humility is always a good idea but always be willing to re-examine what you're doing be open to constructive criticism you know if somebody comes along who has different ideas different interpretations even if they're less experienced than you are have an open mind consider what they have to say and you know maybe try it out with them and see how does this work and if you if you know that something is not efficient biomechanically explain it to people you know don't just say nope this is wrong we don't do that always good to have open communication and all that it'll help you improve over time like don't be in your ways at blunt learn for example since I joined there have been several revisions of you know footwork and particular techniques when the interpretations have been refined and where the instructors have found that okay this actually works better there are in tournaments since we've done this we've been doing better stuff like this and you know re-examine reevaluate improve learn grow all of that good stuff and I think that covers all the essential basics maybe except one concern that people sometimes have is physical fitness you know how do I have to be to do this you know I have this of that issue like I'm overweight or I'm injured or that's after all this and the general answer is don't worry too much about it if you get into it any kind of physical exercise is going to help you and don't feel too self-conscious or pressured I know that's easier said than done but you know there's always going to be somebody who is more physically fit and you know bigger and stronger and faster and more skilled etc etc etc and you don't have to be the best you just you don't have to be better than everybody else you just have to be better than your past self beat yourself grow improve this is really the important part and you will improve if you put the time into it if you put the effort into it you will improve you will get setbacks that's natural but you will get better over time so don't don't get discouraged and if you practice with the right people it's gonna be fine you will uplift each other and you will motivate each other and you'll be okay if you if you can't do a single push-up then fine do something up some kind of variation like incline pull drops something you can you can find other things to do that will you know build up your muscles and then work you know work your way up to where you can do that so you don't really have to be worried about that some people at that blonde line including myself have even done chair drills occasionally you know my knee injury was so bad that I I couldn't I couldn't stand walk properly I would sit on a chair and go through the guards and and do you know cuts and parries and all of that there are plenty of ways in which you can accommodate things like that so that's about it I don't have any more to say other than have fun and oh one more thing I've been thinking about setting up a patreon reward for people in this kind of situation who don't have access to a school or instructor or etc and and set this up as a reward for people who can who can get at one-on-one feedback like say you record yourself doing a certain form or you know taking drill or whatever I review it give you feedback based on it and hopefully help you along the way so let me know if if you would be interested in that just want to gauge the kind of interest now this this would be mainly for beginners and kind of low intermediates I'm not a keema master by any means but I'm intermediate at this point advanced however you want to call it and I've done some teaching at La iron so I can definitely help out beginners at the very least because I know how difficult is to to get proper feedback and this can really help if somebody else looks at what you're doing they may see things that you don't and this can be helpful so let me know if you would be interested in that and also what you would consider a fair price for something like that now I know what instructor is generally charge for one-on-one instruction I know what the the schools generally charge is monthly fee but I still want to know from people that what would you consider fair so yeah let me know I might do that at some point if if people think that would help them otherwise yeah there's that links down below to equipment and all that it's probably no really non video but I hope it's helpful and thanks for watching have a good one folks you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. hey skall i know that katanas are not your thing but is japanese swordplay a thing in HEMA? because i want to try HEMA but I want to use a katana.

  2. Honestly you could start with fencing there's a few places it can also get you a scholarship to a college so yeah

  3. If I wasn’t actually sparing with someone else, like if I was just hitting a post or swinging the sword to practice or learn techniques, would I still need a mask? Would I have a chance of hitting myself in the head hard enough to cause damage as an inexperienced person? If I would, could I get by with a more traditional helmet that I might have lying around until I can afford an actual fencing mask?

  4. oh hell there is a HEMA club near me. well thanks for the Hema club finder link Skall I'll have to begin my training

  5. This is exactly the video I was going to wait for a live stream to ask you for. I especially like how you refer to data from studies in this video, thanks for the great info Skall!

  6. Kind of an odd question, but is South Coast Swords still in business? I placed an order a while ago and attempted to contact them as to getting a refund because I had changed my mind, still nothing back from them.

  7. Well obviously you can’t forget the syrup, that should go with saying. Any tips on gear for moose jousting?

  8. that was honestly inspirational. you dont have to be better than everyone else, just be better than your past self